One of the highlights of adulthood — and one that younger generations like millennials have been increasingly shut out of — is purchasing your first home. But for those who are lucky enough to be able to do it, it’s a scary decision, and there are many factors to consider before signing the dotted line. However, a new survey shows that millennials feel a little differently about homeownership, traditionally considered a pathway into the middle class. Instead of excitement when they get the keys to their own place, most people in this age group report feeling regret after buying a home. Here are the details.
Bankrate wanted to find out more about how people feel about homeownership. The company commissioned a new poll of more than 1,400 U.S. homeowners. The results? Nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of adults between 24 to 40 years old say they have at least one regret about buying their current home.
“These purchases, even for those who are well qualified, can be a leap of faith,” says Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst. People tend to focus so much on actually being able to buy a home that many times, there’s a sense that everything else will resolve itself once the initial purchase is completed, he says.
“The reality is that it’s just the beginning of the homeownership experience,” Hamrick adds. It seems that once that initial excitement wears off and the reality sets in, many new homeowners have at least one regret or wish that they had done something differently.
The poll also looked at the data from Gen X (ages 41 to 56) homeowners and baby boomers (ages 57 to 75). They, too, reported having some regrets, though at a lower level than millennials. Forty-five percent of Gen X had regrets, and 33 percent of baby boomers, had some remorse over homebuying as well, but for different reasons.
Money was the top reason for regret across all generations. Specifically, the most common regret was underestimating how much maintenance expenses and the other hidden costs associated with buying and owning a home.
“About 16% of homeowners (and 21% of millennials) cited this as a regret,” CNBC reported. “Other types of regrets focused on the size of the home and the finances involved in the process, including the mortgage payment and rate.”
The second-largest regret for homeowners, according to the poll, was over the home itself. In this regret, millennials were once again the most likely to be unhappy about their home’s physical characteristics, including the size and location of the home. According to the survey, 15 percent of millennials said they disliked their new property’s location. Meanwhile, around 30 percent felt the home was not the right size.
According to Bankrate, there are ways to reduce the chances you’ll be dealing with homeowner’s regret after buying a home. The biggest thing you can do is research and take your time.